Tea: Opiate Of The English

London
...and a Chocolate Digestive please

...and a Chocolate Digestive please

In a related revelation, Malcolm Cross, a psychologist at City University, London, tested the anxiety levels of a group of people after a stressful situation and found that even a single cup has a significant calming effect.
His team gave 42 volunteers a mental arithmetic exam and afterward offered half of them a cup of tea and the other half a glass of water. The water group’s anxiety levels soared by 25 per cent compared to before the task, while the tea group actually reported a four-per-cent reduction in anxiety — despite the taxing test, they were more relaxed than when they started.
According to a survey carried out for the research, 68 per cent of Britons turn to tea in a dilemma, making it Britain’s most common response to trouble of whatever kind.
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10 comments on “Tea: Opiate Of The English”

  1. A.B. says:

    A nice cup of Earl Grey has been my saviour for many years now. It is such an English thing… all my American friends laugh when they hear me say “I’m dying for a cup of tea”.

  2. Helen Martin says:

    An interesting study could be conducted as to whether it is the tea itself or the serving and drinking that does the relaxing. Let’s see: identical cups and procedures, but one half of the participants served a tea coloured hot liquid while the other half is given the above mentioned Earl Grey (or Red Rose, “Only in Canada, you say? Pity.”)Hmmm, perhaps that’s how those other experiments came about, but what about that Coca Cola study?

  3. Steve says:

    I’ve actually noticed that on English produced TV programs and movies – the woman who’s husband has just been discovered decapitated in the drawing room breaks down, and her best friend invariably says, “I’ll put the kettle on”.
    Always seems like a peculiar response to those of us who didn’t grow up with it. Or perhaps I should say, a peculiarly English response. Strangely endearing in a way.

  4. BangBang!! says:

    It is a strange when someone offers you a cup of tea. It’s almost like they’ve just offered you the one thing in the whole world you’ve always wanted – “Oh yes please! That would be lovely!”

    Although, I hate making tea for myself and rarely do it. It seems such a chore for some reason.

  5. I.A.M. says:

    Apparently BangBang!! needs to have their partner get decapitated more often.

  6. Helen Martin says:

    There is a promo for an English serial called Heartbeat in which an elderly lady comments on the inevitable English response to any tragedy of “Would you like a cup of tea?” In mysteries the female police officer is always sent through to the kitchen to make a cuppa for the shocked wife/parent. I think the English are on to something here since coffee certainly does have anything of a palliative effect.

  7. Helen Martin says:

    Sorry – doesn’t have anything of a palliative effect. Must read before posting.

  8. Steve says:

    Helen, you’re right. It IS the female officer most of the time, not the best friend.
    By the way, I’m fond of Earl Grey. Only tea I drink when I drink it at all.

  9. Helen Martin says:

    Of course. Earl Grey is elegant and sophisticated, but you wouldn’t want it first thing in the morning. You want something brisk like English Breakfast (not Irish Breakfast because it’s a little too mild)to set you up for the day. After dinner you could go for one of the smoky blends or stick with the Earl. Hah! you’d think I actually knew something about tea, which I don’t. And I drink it without milk or sugar.

  10. Paul Sumner says:

    Its a funny old cookie indeed, our relationship with a cuppa. I can bring together so many key moments and strands of my life by the common thread of a cup of tea.
    It almost appears to be in our wiring somewhere.
    Anyway, i’m almost at the end of ‘Paperboy’ its been a wonderful journey. It almost felt i was reading about myself at times. I’m probably not the first person to tell you that.
    Thanks Christopher, for letting us in.

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